Down To Earth

So… Last time it was a mill. Can you guess what I went out and bought this week?  It was  a mill.


I still have no business owning one. Still. I don’t have the budget to get one, and I don’t have a place to put one if I did.

Nope, I purchased a much needed and much more prosaic tool, a cordless reciprocating saw.

A sawzall is almost a requirement if you are going to be doing much construction, especially if any of that construction is going to involve remodeling. There are many times that you need to cut something away at an odd angle. This is the type of cut that can really only be done with a reciprocating saw.

remodeling a basementDoing things like cutting studs away from plates, either in remodeling or in new construction (when you screw up and need  to fix without totally disassembling), for instance when you need to make a window opening, or enlarge one.

Another use is to cut studs away from sheathing without having to make cuts that you  won’t be able to cover from the outside. That gives you a lot more options than if you had to use something like a circular saw to cut straight through from the outside.

Another thing that is nice about reciprocating saws is the variety of blades that are available for them. Short or long, course or fine, carbon steel or bi-metal. Sawzall blades cover all the bases, and if you choose to spend the money for bi-metal blades they are universal and will last a long time cutting different materials.

If there is a chance that you will be hitting nails when you make cuts a reciprocating saw with a bi-metal blade would be your tool of choice. A blade like that will cut through nails without even breaking stride. A circular saw blade, even a carbide one, will dull quickly under those circumstances.

I have had corded sawzalls for years, but whenever I replace a tool these days I always look at the battery powered versions. With the advent of the lithium battery, quality cordless tools have finally reached the point where they are straight up replacements for their corded versions. The fast chargers available with most tools will have a spare battery charged often before the charge runs out on the battery being used.

The flexibility, ease of use, and versatility of the cordless reciprocating saw make the choice a simple one. Why drag a cord around when there is not need? Why not have a tool that you can grab and use with no fuss even in places that don’t have electricity? Got branches in the way of your line of sight in a tree stand? Cordless sawzall to the rescue.

The only advantage a corded version has is in price, and if you already have another tool and can buy a bare tool, that disadvantage pretty much disappears.

A sawzall is a must have tool. A cordless sawzall is the preferred option these days.

And that’s the story. I’m out.

Speaking of Mill

A mill is something that I have always had designs on.

I’ve always liked the phrase run of the mill. What exactly does it mean? Where did it come from? You have to assume it had to do with the old grain mills that were by streams in pretty much every town and village in years gone by. But was it that the boss left for the day and the loyal journeyman was going to be running things for a day or so? Or was it that for some reason a customer or other got to run into the mill and take what they wanted? And how does either of those things relate to the present day definition of run of the mill being day-to-day average?

The Old Mill

But I digress. A grain mill is nothing that I have ever coveted, though I admit to a fascination with them. In fact if I ever tour out east I will make sure to visit a functioning mill if I get a chance.

But never mind.

The mill that I have designs on looks a lot more like this:bridgeport mill

But the fact is that I have no business owning one. I admit that I have  weakness for tools, and have been know to spend money on them on a bit of a whim. But usually I am able to justify the purchase to at least some extent. I will have  need for the tool for at least the day, or I will have use for a tool, but perhaps can’t justify buying the quality of tool that I do.

But as for a mill… that is a very expensive piece of machinery that has a limited range of uses for the average handyman. Less uses than even a welder, which someone with a fascination for tools can usually find an excuse to put into service. For my part the only thing I could even imagine using it for would be to mill a custom piece for a motorcycle out of a block of aluminum. And that is even a bit of a dream, because I really don’t have the practical or imagination to design a piece like that.

But when has something like that ever stopped a dreamer from dreaming. And no one said that an average hobbyist has any shortage of dreams, both about what projects they will take on and their ability to make use of the tools that they find a reason to buy.

Guilty as charged. And done for the day.

Hello World Part Two

If you can’t amuse yourself why even?

For sure if you don’t amuse yourself you are unlikely to amuse anyone else. Don’t know why I’m saying, it’s just that the Hello World! thingy that this comes pre-loaded with strikes me funny.

Not that I think I am terribly amusing. And that has nothing to do with this blog anyway. (Though maybe if I have a good day I will say something that will bring a smile to your face.)

This is the place where hopefully I will be sharing my thoughts on my passions and on the day to day mundane-ness of a normal everyday life. While it is nice to read about the newest and finest thngs to hit the shelf at any given time, I think there’s value in seeing how a normal Joe gets on with them. It’s all well and good to know what some guy thinks who has a huge shop and is always surrounded by the biggest and the best, but how does someone just like you deal with the choices they have to make in order to do the best that they can do.

Enough for now. Gotta run.